Foxes and rabbits targeted

Foxes in the western suburbs are threatening local |native animals.
Foxes in the western suburbs are threatening local |native animals.

The Western Suburbs Regional Organisation of Councils, along with the cities of Stirling, Cambridge, Subiaco and Fremantle, are working together to remove foxes and rabbits concurrently, as the removal of just rabbits would lead to foxes hunting local native animals, while the removal of just foxes would lead to a boom in the rabbit population.

In 2011-12, about 25 foxes and eight dens were removed from the western suburbs but City of Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale said the total number of foxes was likely to be much larger.

‘Foxes are a major threat to survival of local native animals,’ Mr Tindale said.

‘Signs of injury and death of wildlife due to foxes has been noted, particularly around wetland areas with waterbirds and turtle eggs and in backyard chicken coops.’

Mr Tindale said previous isolated attempts to reduce fox and rabbit numbers had not delivered sustained reductions and the coordinated approach would increase the scope and efficiency of the project.

‘The main [fox] hotspots in the western suburbs are the Swanbourne and City Beach sand dunes, and along the Swan River foreshore,’ he said.

Community members are being encouraged to report sightings of foxes and rabbits using a feral animal observation sheet, which are available on each council’s website.